An Inside Look at the Months-long Process of Getting Windows XP Ready for Release to Manufacturing

16 七月

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by admin

BillGates,chairmanandchiefsoftwarearchitectofMicrosoft,andJimAllchin,groupvicepresidentofWindows,holdmastercodedisksofWindowsXPastheoperatingsystemisreleasedtomanufacturingonAug。

24。

Clickonphotoforhigh-resolutionversion。

REDMOND,Wash。

Aug。

24,2001Ifyouthinkretailers,PCmakersandcustomersaregladthatMicrosoft。

finisheddevelopmentofitsnewWindowsXPoperatingsystemtodayandbegantheprocessofmanufacturinganddistributingthesoftware,considerJackMayo。

Hehadtoeatmealwormstogettothispoint。

Mayo,projectmanagerforWindowsXP,doesntmakeahabitofeatingbugs。

Buttwomonthsago,MayoandothertopmanagersontheWindowsXPdevelopmentteamknewtheyneededtokeepmoralehighiftheyweregoingtomeettodays

releasetomanufacturing

(RTM)datethefinalmilestoneinensuringthatmillionsofretailpackagesandpre-loadedPCswouldbereadyaspromisedfortheproductsofficialdebut,setforOctober25。

Theselastweekshadbeenprettyroughonourdevelopmentstaff,

recallsMayo。

Peoplewerecominginatallhours,testteamswereworkinginshiftsaroundtheclock。

Wewerebringingmassiveamountsofcoffeeandsodaintotheoffices。

Peoplewouldsackoutonsofasforabitandthengetbacktowork。

Oneguyjuststayedhereandsleptonthefloor,pullinganoldeventbanneroverhishead。

WiththekeyfeaturesofWindowsXPsettledlongbefore,theprimarytaskfacingthedevelopmentteaminthesefinalweeksleadinguptoRTMwastoeliminatetheremaining

bugs。

Thismeantanythingfromaddingprettiericonstocleaningupmisalignedfontstofixingbitsofsoftwarecodethatdidntrunproperly。

Thatswhenthetopmanagershituponwhatseemedlikeagoodideaatthetime。

Iftheywantedthedevelopmentstafftogetridofbugs,theyshouldbewillingtodothesame。

Soadealwasreached:Foreach250softwarebugsthatthedeveloperscouldeliminateinaday,ateamleaderwouldeatarealbugamealworm。

Ifthedeveloperscouldeliminate750bugsinthreedays,thenallfourteamleadersMayoandSeniorVicePresidentBrianValentine,ProjectDirectorIainMcDonald,andDirectorofTestDarrenMuirwouldget

mealymouthed。

Thedeveloperscamethroughforus;allofusendedupeatingourmealworms,

saysMayo。

ButonlyBrianchewed。

Hitchcock-LikeSuspense

ThatsoneofthemoreflamboyantepisodesinasagathathasbeenfilledwithHitchcock-likesuspenserightupuntiltoday。

For10months,upto85Microsoftdevelopersandprogrammanagers,testteams,andleads

representingthousandsoftheircolleagueshaveparticipatedindaily

warteam

meetingstoreviewstatus,identifyproblems,andsetmilestonesforprogress。

Overthattime,MicrosofthasissuedseveralbetaversionsandreleasecandidatespreliminaryversionsofWindowsXPthathavegivenusersandtheindustryanopportunitytotryoutthesoftware,togetacquaintedwithitsnewfeatures,andtoofferfeedback。

Microsofthasavarietyofprogramsinplacetosolicitfeedbackfromcustomers,rangingfromcomputermanufacturers,softwareandhardwarevendors,andlargemultinationalcorporationstosmallbusinessesandendusers。

Microsoftalsoconductsfocusgroups,extensiveusabilitytesting,andprimaryandsecondaryresearch。

ForcorporateusersofWindowsXP,someofthemostvaluablefeedbackcamefrom29

JointDevelopmentProgram(JDP)partners

aselectgroupoflargeandsmallcompaniesthattestedanddeployedWindowsXPearlyandparticipatedinanearlyconstantexchangeofinformationwithMicrosoft,includingweeklyupdates,recurringconferencecalls,quarterlymeetingsinRedmondandfrequentproductplanningsessions。

ParticipantsgotalegupondeployingWindowsXPinadvanceofitsofficialrelease;MicrosoftgotinvaluableadvicefromcustomersusingWindowsXPinrealsettings。

JDPparticipantEnterasysNetworksbegantestingWindowsXPwith200ofitscorporateusersinApril;twoweeksagoitbeganwidespreaddeploymenttoits2,700PCsandlaptops。

TheadvanceexperiencewithWindowsXPenabledthecompanytoflagacompatibilityissuewithoneofitsinternalapplicationsandtoidentify

wishlist

featurestheythoughtwouldmaketheuserexperienceevenbetter。

TheextentofMicrosoftswillingnesstomakeWindowsXPdevelopmentaniterativeprocesswithusimpressedme,

saysLenCouture,chiefinformationofficerforEnterasys。

Theiropennessinreceivingourfeedbackleadsmetobelievethatthisproductisreallyfocusedonimprovingtheuserexperience。

Asdevelopmentproceeded,thefocusatMicrosoftwasontryingtoeliminatethelastfew

bugs

fromthesoftware。

Theteamidentifiedproblemsandassignedtheappropriatedevelopers。

Thosedeveloperswouldwritenewcodeandforwarditforinclusioninthesoftware。

Microsoftscomputerswouldautomaticallyincorporatethosechangesandcreateanew

build

ofWindowsXP。

Daily,thatbuildwouldgotothe

BuildVerificationandTest

Labforreviewandidentificationofnewbugscausedbythechanges。

Whereonlyweeksearliertheteamhadfacedhundredsofbugsaday,onlyahandfulshowedupbythebeginningoflastweek。

ByAugust17,onlythreebugsremained。


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